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Wales prop Lee banned 5 games for headbutting Van der Merwe in loss to Springboks

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NELSPRUIT, South Africa - Wales prop Samson Lee will sit out the first three games of the Scarlets' Pro12 rugby campaign next season as well as two preseason friendlies after he was handed a five-week ban for head-butting South Africa's Flip van der Merwe during Saturday's second test.

The incident occurred in the leadup to Wales' 45th-minute try, when both players were on the ground during a maul. Van der Merwe had to receive treatment for a blood injury below his left eye.

Lee was cited after the match and although the 21-year-old prop was initially handed a 10-week ban, IRB judicial officer Christopher Quinlan reduced the sentence on account of Lee's admission of guilt, his age, and relatively clean history.

South Africa won the match 31-30 and the series.

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